Canada snags top five spot in economic freedom report
September 25, 2012
The Fraser Institute released it's annual Economic Freedom of the World Report, and Canada is in the top five with the United States falling to the 18th position. This year, Canada scored a freedom rating of 7.97 out of 10, resulting in a tie with Australia for number five, out of 144 nations and territories across the globe.
"Canada's relatively high level of economic freedom has resulted in stronger economic growth, higher income levels, and less pain from the global recession," said Fred McMahon, Fraser Institute vice-president of international policy research. "Meanwhile, other nations embraced heavy-handed regulation and extensive over-spending in response to the American and European debt crises. Consequently, their levels of economic freedom decreased."
Hong Kong once again topped the list, followed by Singapore, New Zealand and Switzerland, with Canada and Australia rounding out the top five.
The U.S., which has long been considered the epitome of freedom, continues to decline on the ratings. This year they received the lowest score ever, and it is significantly lower than when they were second overall in 2000. The reasoning for the decrease has to do with how much the government is spending.
Venezuela took the lowest spot with Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo and Angola also in the bottom five.
"Sadly, citizens living in the bottom-ranked countries face a significantly lower quality of life since they lose the benefits that come from growth spurred on by economic freedom and suffer reduced prosperity," McMahon said.
Economic freedom is determined on the size of government, access to money, legal struction, freedom for international trading and regulation of business and credit.